Hey everyone, My husband and I decided to start on a quail project, and I have a couple of questions for more experienced quail-keepers than myself. We presently have 65 mixed (tibetan, Texas A&M, manchurian and jumbo pharaoh) eggs in my sparkly new hovabator which are due to hatch around the 25th. I am also in the process of building a large, indoor pen system for the quail once they are out of the brooder. My question is this. I've seen plans for quail pens all over the internet, most of which have the height at 24", and I have started building mine based on that standard height. I've also seen more than a few posts and articles here and elsewhere discussing quail's vertical flight startle response and the potential for them to injure or kill themselves if the roof of their enclosure is too high. So exactly how high is the ideal pen? I don't want them cramped and stressed, but I also don't want to be finding dead birds that killed themselves b/c I didn't ask enough questions, and built the pen too tall. I've seen recommendations from bigger breeders that the ceiling should be no more than 9", but the plans I've seen have it at 24"...so what's the safest and most space efficient height? The pen structure I'm building is double tiered, with two 5' x 2' x 2' (LxWxH) pens secured by a 68" tall frame. The bottom pen is going to be a colony style grow out and laying pen (extra cocks will be culled from that pen and the hens will be left for 9-10 months until I am ready to recycle the flock, and the top will be divided into two breeding pens of 4 birds each. All the wall and ceiling wire is 1"x1" galvanized mesh. Floors are 1/2" x 1/2" galvanized mesh. In all, about 20 sq. ft. of space. Since the structure isn't complete yet, I can still make modifications and easily turn each 24" high tier into two 10" high pens with plenty of room for the dropping pan between them. This would create 2 colony pens and 4 breeding pens, essentially doubling my square footage, which would probably be nice for the birds. And since I'm hoping for at least a 60% hatch rate, thats 42 chicks to start with, and potentially 10+ more if I do better than 60% so I will need the space, at least until cull time. So the net result is, I will be either building a second structure identical to the first, or if it's a smarter and safer idea, simply lowering the cielings in the one structure, thus saving myself the space and money required for a second structure. Any thoughts and suggestions are appreciated! Thanks!